August 27, 2015

Their Endeavor and Intention to Subjugate Those Who are in Good and Truth

Selections from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
It is the Lord alone also who fights in the men who are in the combats of temptations, and who overcomes. Man from his own power can effect nothing at all against evil or infernal spirits; for they are so connected with the hells that if one were overcome, another would rush in, and so on forever. They are like the sea which presses upon every part of a dike; and if the dike should be broken through by a cleft or a crack, the sea would never cease to burst through and overflow, until nothing was left standing. So would it be with man unless the Lord alone sustained in him the combats of temptations.
(Arcana Coelestia 1692:2)
And the Egyptians made the sons of Israel to serve. [Exodus 1:13]  That this signifies an intention to subjugate, is evident from the signification of "making to serve," as being subjugation, here the intention to subjugate, because they are in the continual endeavor to subjugate, but in no wise prevail against the good; from the signification of the "Egyptians," as being separated memory-knowledges which are opposed to the truths of the church ... and from the signification of the "sons of Israel," as being the church .... Hence it is evident that by "the Egyptians made the sons of Israel to serve" is signified the intention to subjugate by those who are in separated memory-knowledges which are opposed to the truths of the church.

As regards the intention to subjugate, such as exists with the evil who are from hell, I have also been given to know this. Such is their endeavor and intention to subjugate those who are in good and truth that it cannot be described; for they make use of all malice, all cunning and fraud, all deceit, and all cruelty, so great and of such a nature that if these were told in part only, hardly anyone in the world could believe it; so cunning and artful are their devices, and so execrable. In a word, these infernals are of such a nature that they cannot possibly be resisted by any man, nor even by any angel, but by the Lord alone. The reason why they are possessed with such an endeavor and intention is that all their delight of life, thus their life itself, consists in doing evil; and therefore nothing else occupies their thoughts, consequently they intend nothing else. They are quite unable to do what is good, because this is repugnant to them: if they do what is good, it is for the sake of self, thus is done to self.

From such spirits the hells are at this day immensely increased, and wonderful to say, especially from those who are within the church, on account of the cunning, deceit, hatred, revenge, and adultery, which flourish there more than elsewhere; for within the church cunning is now esteemed ingenious, and adultery honorable, and they who deem otherwise are laughed at. Its being so within the church at this day is a sign that its last time is at hand, for "Except there be an end, no flesh would be saved," according to the Lord's words in Matt. 24:22; because all evil is contagious, and infects, as lees do the lump, thus at last all.

(Arcana Coelestia 6666)